Bad Travel Days – The Downside Of Travel

“Oh, you get to travel the world all the time, that is so awesome!” 

This is the reaction of most of my friends and family. And yes travel is awesome! 

The latest photo on social media pictures a beautiful beach somewhere exotic and me sipping on a fresh coconut while enjoying the sunset.

Bad Travel Days – The Downside Of Travel

“Oh, you get to travel the world all the time, that is so awesome!” 

This is the reaction of most of my friends and family. And yes travel is awesome! 

The latest photo on social media pictures a beautiful beach somewhere exotic and me sipping on a fresh coconut while enjoying the sunset.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

bad travel days the downside of travel girl

This is after all, what most people imagine travel days to be like. But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops.

You had a bad day at work; well guess what, sometimes you have bad travel days too.

Some Examples of Bad Travel Days

Accommodation

I’m sure we would all like to stay in those awesome 4-5 star places, but when travelling for a longer time, simple and clean is usually all you need.

Whether you book online, ahead of time, or follow the advice of a guidebook for the best places to stay, at some point in your travels you will end up sleeping somewhere rather grim, noisy, smelly, or simply uncomfortable. The reasons for it can vary.

You arrived late and you are too tired to look for something else. The entire city is booked out for some other sport/concert/festival/holiday event.

You booked online and although the room is the same as advertised on the website, in reality, it leaves you disappointed (you couldn’t have known there was a karaoke bar underneath or that the room was really 12sq m.)

Well, you know what they say: “You better sleep on it.”

Bad Travel Days - Accommodation
Arriving late at night in Belize City has forced us to stay in this room. Bad Travel Days like this are unforgettable
Bad Travel Days - Accommodation
The upside of staying somewhere grim. You tend to try harder to find something cosy and clean in your next city. Bad travel days only happen here and there.

Transport

Whether you are flying, taking a train, bus, van, tuk-tuk, or a taxi (use BookaWay to get instant tickets) I can guarantee you there will be a moment where the saying “It’s not about the destination, is about the journey” will get a whole new meaning.

A simple flight from Nepal to India can turn into a spine-chilling experience when taking off from a notoriously short runway in an old congested aircraft.

The 24-hour bus ride to Vietnam can quickly become a 32-hour journey. “Don’t worry, very comfortable, you get VIP bus, reclining seats” is the reassurance from the ticket seller before the journey.

However the reclining seats are designed for much smaller people, so most western travellers can only lay sideways.

Your overnight train ride includes a carriage full of Russian workers drinking vodka and singing all night.

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Your cheap rental car in Bali is a great deal until you find out that the brakes aren’t working whilst you’re rolling down a massive hill!

The Indian taxi driver with bloodshot eyes will drive you across Delhi without using brakes, blinkers, or stopping for red lights.

And the taxi car in Cuba is missing part of the floor so you can see most of the road underneath. A real insight into Havana, don’t you think?

For us, the never-ending shared taxis we took to travel overland throughout West Africa were the biggest challenge! Read our recap of our travels in West Africa in 2019 for some entertainment.

We shared our best 17 ESSENTIAL Things to Know Before Travelling in West Africa for any of you who want to take this wild journey.

Bad Travel Days - Transport
A comfortable bus ride with reclining seats. Sadly, the seats were far from comfortable. Bad travel days are bound to happen
Bad Travel Days - Transport
Renting a car in Bali for USD 20 a day – winning. Finding out the breaks don’t work as you’re rolling down the hill – not winning.

Toilet

When nature calls, you gotta go. Not as easy while on the road. The definition of “bit unclean” and “rather smelly” can unexpectedly reach a whole new level.

From squad toilets in Vietnam, a hole in the ground in rural Kyrgyzstan to the un-flushable restroom at the gas station in Texas.

Not to forget the open pasture intended as a pit stop on a bus journey in Bolivia.

You know you had too many bad travel days with toilet tales when you get excited about provided toilet paper or a toilet with a seat.

Bad Travel Days - Toilet
After hours on a bus somewhere in Vietnam, we were pleased to have a stop for the toilet break. Sadly the toilet did not meet our expectation. Bad Travel days?
Bad Travel Days - Toilet
Female public toilets in the hutongs of Beijing. Hope you are not shy.
Bad Travel Days - Toilet
Going to the toilet in Japan seems always pleasant. The toilet even has an option to play music!

Food

When travelling, food becomes more than just-food. It becomes a task and a chore every day.

Where am I going to eat? What am I going to eat? Will I be able to buy/eat something tasty and satisfying? Every traveller would have a great story of that time when they ordered a meal, which turned out to be a disaster.

In fact, food can easily tip a good day into a bad travel day.

You will inevitably turn into a vegetarian in certain parts of the world, after walking past the butcher shop. It could be that your included lunch on a day trip might consist of hairy llama meat or questionable stew that you cannot identify.

The excitement of devouring your first lasagna in Italy is crushed to pieces as you are served a frozen meal.

You will find a hair in your meal and yes, you will get diarrhea at some point.

Was it the fish from the market that has been reheated for the second day? Or the Milkshake that tasted funny?

After some days of travelling in Central Asia, Cuba or Burma, you simply settle for a chocolate bar as a dinner instead of trying your luck to get a tasty meal.

You will likely get sick at some point, but if you stick to my 7 best tips for finding food when travelling, then you’re less likely to fall victim to food poisoning.

Bad Travel Days - Food
Trying to buy food in a foreign language can be challenging. Pictures usually help.
Bad Travel Days - Food
Walking the streets in India will eventually lead you past a butcher shop. We remained vegetarian for the rest of the trip.
Bad Travel Days - Food
A small pizza shop in Cuba. It might not have passed general standards of hygiene, but the pizza was tasty.

Yes. Bad travel days do happen.

But luckily the good travel days outweigh the bad ones, so here’s to another sunset on the perfect beach somewhere in Thailand.

More Travel Tips

We have so many tips to help you travel more!

These 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you stretch your hard-earned dollars further.

Read our top 6 travel hacks to save money and the 20 best travel apps to make travel easier! 

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies. And, if history is your thing, these 30 amazing historical places worldwide will fascinate you!

We have many tips to save money for travel and consider these 20 jobs that PAY YOU to travel the world to help you travel longer.

If you become a trusted housesitter, you can also get FREE accommodation worldwide. Read more about how this works.

Check out our ultimate packing list for travellers, and remember to pack travel insurance! We recommend these two travel insurance companies for excellent coverage.

Our 12 essential tips for safe travel in any country are worth a read. 

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling the world. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual countries, or consider a Global eSIM if you travel to multiple countries or regions. This eSIM connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM.

The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. Get the best deals on worldwide group tours with Tourradar.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with friends and family!

Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

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